Research from 2000 to Present - Dr. Michael Marcell


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Relevance and Saliency Ratings for Objects in a Set of 80 Pictures    Change blindness is a phenomenon in which observers have difficulty noticing large changes to a visual scene that occur during a visual disruption. This pilot study is concerned with quantifying, in a diverse collection of 80 pictures, what is meant in this field by "objects of central interest" (features that are relevant to the meaning of a scene) and "objects of marginal interest" (features that are not relevant to the meaning of a scene). We also gathered information on the perceptual salience of the features as well as ratings of their relevance. This study has been published in Behavior Research Methods. The above link takes you to the program as well as written materials and a stimulus archive for the project.


The Effects of Study Time and Featural Relevance on Change Blindness    This study used the above relevancy ratings to determine whether changes to items of central interest (high relevance) are less susceptible to change blindness than changes to items of marginal interest (low relevance). We also varied the amount of time available to study the initial (unchanged) picture. It was predicted that changes to high-relevance items would be detected faster and more accurately than changes to low-relevance items, and that a larger amount of study time would result in a lower amount of change blindness. Data were gathered on campus and not online, although you may run a brief version of this study online if you like. The results were recently packaged with the results of two other studies that we conducted to determine if study time influences change detection in the flicker task and the one-shot task, standard lab procedures for assessing change blindness. The three studies will be presented in March, 2010, at the Southeastern Society for Psychology. The above link will also take you to the SEPA abstract.


Effectiveness of Online Quizzing in Increasing Class Preparation and Participation    This research, which was published in 2008 in the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, describes a study conducted in my Psychology 103 (Introduction to Psychological Science) classes over three semesters (Spring, 2004; Fall, 2004; and Spring, 2005). Online quizzes were presented over WebCT to students on half of their assigned readings. The purpose of the study, which was not known to the students, was to determine whether scheduled quizzes resulted in an increase in the number of days students came to class prepared and the number of questions and comments they made at the beginning of class. The above link takes you to written materials related to this project.


Online Study on Identifying, Remembering, and Rating Sound Events    Sound events are complex sequences of sounds that "tell a story" (e.g., the sounds of a boat leaving harbor and going out to sea) or establish a sense of place.  This link takes you to a collection of three studies designed to gather normative data on how people identify, remember, and rate a set of 22 complex sound events on their familiarity, complexity, and pleasantness. You should allow yourself about 30 minutes to complete a study. The sound files are large, so a study may need several minutes before it is completely downloaded and ready to begin.  Although data collection for these studies has been completed, you are nevertheless welcome to run the programs. This link also takes you to an archive containing the sound event wav files used in these studies as well as written materials related to this project, which was published in 2007 in Behavior Research Methods.


Confrontation Naming of Environmental Sounds     This research describes a detailed project in which a large set of everyday, nonverbal, digitized sounds were developed for use in auditory confrontation naming applications in cognitive psychology and clinical neuropsychology. Three separate studies describe data gathered on the identification (accuracy and speed), rating (familiarity, complexity, pleasantness), and categorization of 120 environmental sounds. This link takes you to the environmental sound wav files as well as written materials related to this project, which was published in 2000 in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.


Online Survey and Experiment for Families     This page contains links to the following:  1) A survey on temperament and family background of children, adolescents, and adults with Down syndrome or Williams syndrome; 2) An experiment on auditory memory and visual memory of children, adolescents, and adults with Down syndrome or Williams syndrome; and 3) A brief summary of the outcomes of these studies.  Although data collection for these studies has been completed, you are nevertheless welcome to run the programs.  This link also takes you to written materials related to this project, which was published in 2001 in Down Syndrome Research and Practice.


Online Experiments at the PsycExperiments Web Site    This page contains links to two archived experiments:  1) Memory for lateral orientation; and 2) Picture ratings.  The former requires orientation judgments and the latter requires familiarity and pleasantness ratings for various paintings, photographs, movie stills, and so on.  The experiments are archived, so you may want to try some of the other active experiments at the PsychExperiments website.


Online Cognitive Laboratory Experiment on Auditory Memory  A student-oriented lab experiment on the effects of rate of stimulus presentation on short-term memory for auditory digits.


Online Cognitive Laboratory Experiment on the Verbal Transformation Effect    A student-oriented lab experiment on the effects of word imagery and number of rhyming words on the number of reported transformations.  Responses are typed and data are saved to the c:\ drive.


Online Pilot Study of Individual Differences in Auditory Imagery Ability     An effort to develop ways of assessing auditory imagery ability.  The study (which may entail a long download on your computer) contains 5 self-report tasks (auditory and visual imagery scales and a hearing inventory) and 4 experimental auditory imagery tasks (pitch, timbre, timing, and mental manipulation).  Data collection is completed, and writing of a manuscript is in progress.